Artist Vaike Alexandra- hand crafted pet cremation urns.
On the front page I spoke a bit about why I started to make these pet urns. I have been driven to create my whole life. I actually have been making functional metal art for years now. I have participated in many group shows and have won newspaper, web, and magazine notice. I have always been driven to care for animals. It has always been a split in myself, creating beautiful works of art and then rescuing and caring for dogs. What a wonderful thing it would be to combine the two. I always thought so but was never able to figure out how to do it until I started creating these urns.Enter Steven. (A cat)
There were actually two Stevens. They lived as brothers, both came when one was called. (I am going on the assumption that that was why there was only one name between them.) A neighbor, Ted, had both Stevens (you have to ask him for the real story about the names, and his great cat book, THE BUTT HELLO, can be found at his site www.artyourworld.com). But, sadly, one Steven went on to the happy land of the Rainbow Bridge. So, Ted called me up to request an urn. It was the first time I had ever even thought of such a thing. And I thought of it for months and months. I believe it was six to be exact. For what was a pet urn anyway? And what does one look like? (poor Steven, having to wait through my creative process) I researched and looked and looked and researched. And I could not imagine putting my own loved little furry one into anything I saw. In the usual artist’s creative proccess, one morning I woke up and in my heart I had it, and I knew it was right. And finally there was a Steven pet urn. And finally I had a purpose. Ah, the serendipitous way life happens. Thank you Steven. And thank you Ted. And while I am at it, thank you to everyone. Today I am grateful. I hope through your sadness, you can be grateful as well, for the time that the little loved one who now lives in your heart gave you.
“…he will be our friend for always and always and always.” ~ Rudyard Kipling
I don’t talk about my work too much here. But today I felt I should share. I am very fortunate in that I get to create art and have my own business. And I still get to work with animals. But not in the way we usually imagine. We all have the same parts in life. To be born, to grow, to be fully grown, and then to pass on.
I fell into working with the last part. It is the part that frightened me always. But now it has become a place of nurturing. A peaceful place where I can help with moving on to the last phase. Customers have told me that it gives them comfort. But it gives me comfort as well. I have a special place of caring for these pets. No, I have never met them, but I feel the honor to care for them. I feel I have purpose. I feel I have a roll in the life process. It places a pretty heavy demand on me, or at least I place it on myself, to create perfectly every time. But somehow, it always works out to be right. I think that comes from the sense of purpose I get.
To create for others is a blessing.
To be able to help them through their loss and grief is an honor.
I had my work repurposed last night in the most beautiful, wonderful way. I was held up by the definition that I worked with ‘death’, with ‘loss’. And last night I found out that it wasn’t true.
I celebrate life. I celebrate joy. And I celebrate love.
This is what my work is for. Why I create these urns. So we can all celebrate these wonderful lives we have been blessed to have in our own lives.
How wonderful it that?
Death is going to happen. But it is not the important part. LIFE is. And it is up to us to celebrate this life.
This brings the joy, the beauty, the passion, the love into our lives. That we celebrate those that we love so deeply. This is what those who love us, be it a dog, a cat, a hamster, a friend, want for us. And what better way to show them how much we love them, than to celebrate their lives, not mourn them.
Hard? Possibly. Wonderful? Absolutely.
So I wish to thank my wonderful friend and fellow artist, Leigh Adams. Thank you for making it clear to me that what I create is to celebrate life. It is the first thing I wanted to pass on to you: Celebrate that lick, that purr, that hug that life force that blessed this earth with his or her presence. They made this world a better place, and it is our duty, our honor, to celebrate them for it.
My wish is to be the person that can help bring your comfort and joy. That can create some sort of closure for you. I create these pet urns with as much honor and integrity as I am able to. I hope I can create a beautiful memorial urn for your wonderful furry (or not furry 😇) friend.